Addressing the carbon footprint of beef has long been in discussions with politicians, consumers and cattle producers. One way that researchers and cattlemen are addressing emissions is through the creation and adoption of technology that introduce efficiency to the beef production cycle. During the Alltech ONE Conference in Lexington, Kentucky on May 20, attendees listened in on a variety of topics impacting beef producers from across the globe.
The session was covered by Drovers’ Twitter account with some live tweets. Here is a breakdown on what we heard:
Frank Mitloehner, professor and air quality expert from University of California-Davis, also known as @GHGGuru on Twitter, is no stranger to the Drovers audience offering his research perspective on methane and carbon emissions in cattle production. Prior to speaking before a U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee hearing on climate change, Mitloehner shared some stats on beef’s carbon footprint.
Technology Innovations in Beef Production
Several different technologies are being created to help beef producers be more efficient that are participating in the The Pearse Lyons Accelerator. A session called Ag-Tech in Beef Production: A Startup’s Journey featured two startups, AgriWebb and Vence, which are looking at changing how cattle management and grazing are done.
Another session was given in the business track of the conference that looked at a new technology called Breedr, an application that is helping producers market cattle. Claire Lewis, co-founder of Breedr, offered up some thoughts on the kind of productivity technology can deliver in a presentation entitled Efficiency Experts: What Do Startups Know That You Don't?. The topic also pertains to the issue of food waste, which impacts beef’s carbon footprint.
Antibiotics have been a hot button issue for consumers, policy makers and livestock producers for the past few years because of discussions like antimicrobial restraint bacteria and non-antibiotic labeling. Most people don’t remember a time without antibiotics says Brian Lubbers, DVM and director of clinical microbiology at the Kansas State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory.
Drovers covered this topic more in-depth from Lubbers’ presentation in an article titled: The Future of Antibiotic Use in Beef Production.
Trace minerals not only benefit cow health but translate into producing better calves. Alltech research scientist Anne Koontz detailed how important it is to keep trace minerals as part of a cow herd’s nutrition program.